Head Movement in Syntax

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<i>Head Movement in Syntax</i> argues that verb movement is a narrow syntactic phenomenon that can affect locality constraints. The altered locality domains are detectable from the way certain phrasal elements such as a phrase containing a Wh are forced to undergo movement. The basic idea explored in the book dates back to Chomsky (1986) where the movement of a verb is proposed to be able to affect and alter a barrier. This idea is translated into contemporary minimalist apparatus to capture locality conditions, with Wh movement in Malayalam, a Dravidian language spoken in Southern India, providing the necessary data. The book also points out that analysing Wh movement in Malayalam as a sub-case of Focus movement is untenable and offers a fresh perspective on Wh-in-situ versus Wh-movement. In addition, the book provides a comprehensive analysis of the pronominal system in Malayalam, a language that violates the canonical binding conditions.

Subjects: Syntax; Theoretical linguistics; Generative linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: CASTL, University of Tromso

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